Azerbaijan – On May 1, Azerbaijan’s Entrepreneurship Development Foundation held a conference in Baku entitled “Roadmap for Developing Small Entrepreneurship.” The conference explored the legal and regulatory barriers facing small businesses in Azerbaijan, and the policy alternatives that could be developed to address them. The 55 participants and speakers included representatives from Parliament, government, think tanks, and business. CIPE Regional Director Andrew Wilson travelled to Baku to speak at the event, and to conduct meetings with local business, policy, and youth groups to explore the challenges faced by young entrepreneurs.
Russia – The Vladikavkaz Institute of Management (VIM), a CIPE partner, on April 28 awarded certificates to 19 students who completed a six-week course designed to give local youth the skills needed to launch a business and fully participate in local democratic institutions. As part of the certificate program, students drafted business plans for business start-ups, the most viable of which will be presented by VIM to the regional economic development authority for possible funding. The start-up ideas range from launching a kindergarten to opening a soccer training facility. The students, ranging in age from 18 to 24, are the fifth group to complete the youth entrepreneurship training program funded under a grant from the National Endowment for Democracy.